If I’m being honest, I really struggled trying to find the words to piece this article together. Social activism is a difficult topic to conquer in just one sitting, but it is an important one to talk about—especially as our political climate gets more and more complex. Social activism isn’t a “learn-and-do” sort of action. It takes a certain amount of detailed attention, and it’s a continued effort. I think both of these facets have become increasingly clear within the last few weeks—and even months.
In the years that I’ve been running this blog, I’ve always tried to maintain a fairly objective viewpoint, especially when it comes to topics of a political nature. But as someone with a growing voice, I don’t want to be silenced in the times when that voice is needed most. That being said, I highly recommend you listen, and learn, and work toward expanding your own understanding and finding ways you can engage in positive change.
Social activism is the catalyst for social change. Without those working to further a goal or movement, there would be no push, no drive to bring about a change in a system. And there is always room for improvement.
Social activism in these last few weeks has been heavily focused on racial injustice, which has been on-going in our communities for who knows how long. For some of us it started out as stories on our TVs or our phones. And then it slowly grew to something we became to realize was happening in our own backyards. We’re learning not just how to use our voices, but also how to use our ears and our minds to listen and to learn. And sometimes unlearn. And this is the process, the cycle of social activism.
But can we stand to let it just be a cycle? Somewhere we find ourselves again in five or ten years? It’s hard to be constant. But it’s impossible to be stagnant.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to be an advocate for change. Read that again. So spread your mission on social media. Or don’t. Donate to support groups and organizations that serve your beliefs. Or don’t. Write letters to your leaders, sign petitions, and participate in protests. Or don’t. Just because someone is choosing to be an advocate in one way doesn’t mean that if you choose to help in another that you’re doing this wrong. The only wrong choice is seeing an injustice and not doing anything at all.
I’m not the expert on social activism and by no means am I the expert on racial injustice. But like some of you, I’ve seen and heard and said a lot in the last few weeks. And sometimes it’s hard. But I want you to remember what it’s all working towards. And for those of you who have maybe stayed on the sidelines, nervous and unsure, know that it’s never too late to be an advocate.
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In what ways do you engage in social activism? Let’s break barriers and start conversations about these issues wherever we can.
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